10 Things You Didn't Know a Sponge Can Do

Think you know how to use a sponge? Well, think again! These colorful little squares of cellulose can be used for a lot more household tasks than just wiping down the kitchen counters. They can quickly and easily do double-duty as paint applicators, wallpaper removers, fridge fresheners, and a whole host of other common chores.

  1. Faux Finish

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    Sponge painting is the most popular faux finishing technique—and the simplest. To use the sponge-on method, simply apply your base color, then dampen a sponge with water and wring thoroughly. Dip the sponge into a second color; blot excess on newspaper; and apply, overlapping edges and rotating the sponge for a random effect. The sponge-off method, on the other hand, creates a subtler, softer look. Apply glaze over your first (dry) paint color, then use a clean sponge to remove.


    Related:  Believe It or Not—9 Incredible Faux Finishes You Can Do Yourself

  2. Seed Money

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    You can start a garden in a tiny space! Give your garden a head start by sprouting seeds using a damp sponge. Place the seeds on top of a thoroughly-saturated sponge and place under a glass bowl in a sunny location. When the seedlings sprout, transfer them to pots.

  3. Lay Waste to Wallpaper

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    If you are having difficulties removing old wallpaper, dip a sponge in hot water and fabric softener and rub the mixture all over the wallpaper. This will help loosen the old, dried paste and make removal a snap.


    Related:  12 "Off the Wall" Places to Put Wallpaper

  4. Ice Pack

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    Create a do-it-yourself ice pack by freezing a thoroughly-saturated wet sponge inside a zip-top bag. As the ice melts, the moisture stays trapped in the sponge, minimizing drips and mess.

  5. Fridge Freshener

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    Keep your refrigerator smelling clean and fresh by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge and placing in the corner to absorb odors. Rinse and repeat daily and your icebox will smell its best.


    Related:  Clear the Air—10 Natural Ways to Cure Household Odors

  6. Hair Apparent

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    Have pet hair embedded in the sofa or carpet? No problem! Simply take a damp sponge and wipe gently across upholstery or carpeting; the hair will come off quickly and easily.


    Related:  Editor's Picks—Today's Top 7 Vacuum Cleaners

  7. Vibrant Veggies

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    Keep your vegetables fresher for longer by preventing moisture from accumulating in the bottom of the refrigerator crisper. Line the bottom of the drawer with dry sponges and replace any time they seem wet. Removing this excess moisture will help keep veggies at their peak.


    Related:  Buy or DIY—5 Ways to Fit More in Your Fridge & Freezer

  8. Rain Drain

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    Most entryway umbrella stands have a fairly shallow receptacle at the base, which can quickly fill with water on a rainy day. Protect your flooring by placing a dry sponge in the bottom of the umbrella stand to soak up excess water.

  9. Surface Tension

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    Wood, glass, and metal tabletops can be scratched easily by frames, vases, or other decorative items. Protect these sensitive surfaces from scratches and scuffs by gluing small squares of sponge on the bottoms of the items.

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